THE WHITE PLAGUE by Rene & Jean Dubos


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A many-faceted history of tuberculosis which considers this disease from early times on as ignorance, and false gentility, and finally the romanticism of the 19th century shrouded the gravity of consumption. And from the individual tragedies of Keats and Shelley and the many literary lives in which tuberculosis was the pervading presence, this goes on to the history of the illness- the old beliefs and nostrums which give way to scientific fact with Koch's identification of the bacillus; the widening knowledge (although still conflicting theories) of diagnosis, susceptibility, resistance and environment; the many therapeutic practices involved in its treatment- nutrition, climate, surgery, rest, drugs; and finally the longer and broader view of tubercudlosis in terms of epidemics and mortality and populations, in terms of public health and prevention and control- to the point where today the death rate has been decreased- but the incidence has not been subdued..... A popular perspective, which reflects not only the course of the disease but the countries and societies in which it festered and the shadow it still casts over many lives in many lands.

ISBN: 0813512247
Publisher: Little, Brown